Multi-model projection of July–August climate extreme changes over China under CO2 doubling. Part I: Precipitation
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- Li, H., Feng, L. & Zhou, T. Adv. Atmos. Sci. (2011) 28: 433. doi:10.1007/s00376-010-0013-4
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Potential changes in precipitation extremes in July–August over China in response to CO2 doubling are analyzed based on the output of 24 coupled climate models from the Twentieth-Century Climate in Coupled Models (20C3M) experiment and the 1% per year CO2 increase experiment (to doubling) (1pctto2x) of phase 3 of the Coupled Model Inter-comparison Project (CMIP3). Evaluation of the models’ performance in simulating the mean state shows that the majority of models fairly reproduce the broad spatial pattern of observed precipitation. However, all the models underestimate extreme precipitation by ∼50%. The spread among the models over the Tibetan Plateau is ∼2–3 times larger than that over the other areas. Models with higher resolution generally perform better than those with lower resolutions in terms of spatial pattern and precipitation amount. Under the 1pctto2x scenario, the ratio between the absolute value of MME extreme precipitation change and model spread is larger than that of total precipitation, indicating a relatively robust change of extremes. The change of extreme precipitation is more homogeneous than the total precipitation. Analysis on the output of Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory coupled climate model version 2.1 (GFDL-CM2.1) indicates that the spatially consistent increase of surface temperature and water vapor content contribute to the large increase of extreme precipitation over contiguous China, which follows the Clausius-Clapeyron relationship. Whereas, the meridionally tri-polar pattern of mean precipitation change over eastern China is dominated by the change of water vapor convergence, which is determined by the response of monsoon circulation to global warming.